Appearance and General Info
The leaves of mallow are wavy, round and alternate and the stalks are several times the length of the blades. The flowers are pale pink or nearly white in color. The stamens are numerous, joined to a tube at the base, which become singular or grouped into pairs higher up the shaft. The fruit of the mallow are round ?cheese wheels? capsules flattened lengthwise, composed of several black wedge-shaped segments. The seeds develop later in the year and are black, small and round.
Flowering time: April-November
Mallow: Medicinal Uses:
Because mallow is in the same family as okra, it has a slimy texture that is very useful in drawing out congestion from the lungs. It makes a fantastic soothing poultice for attending skin issues, rashes and burns. The whole plant can be blended and allowed to sit for a day, strained out and used as the base for shampoos and lotions. Mallow is very successful as an astringent and laxative, counteracting inflammation and inducing urination. Added to oil, the flowers of the mallow may be mixed for use on sores and inflamed surfaces.
Mallow: Edible Uses:
The entire plant is edible. Leaves and young shoots of common mallow are edible raw in salads or green juices. They have a mild pleasant flavor, and are exceptionally nutritious. Because of their deep taproot, they access a rainbow of trace minerals from the earth and hold them in their leaves. When we ingest the plant, our bodies are gifted by these minerals and vitamins. They make an excellent lettuce substitute. The leaves are mucilaginous, and therefore thicken in consistency when added to soups. A decoction (extract) of the root has been used in some baking recipes, as a substitute for egg white. The roots are brought to a boil in water, and then simmered until the water becomes quite thick. This liquid can then be whisked in much the same way as egg whites. A tea can be made from the dried leaves. Immature seeds are edible raw by grinding them into flour. Having a nutty flavor, they are pleasing to eat and rich in amino acids and protein.